I wanted to follow up on a previous post regarding inventory tools used in model railroading.

I came across a website and iOS app called Sortly, if anyone wants to check it out. I have attached some screenshots of how I set it up for my collection. There is a free membership level where you are limited to 100 inventoried items, or there is a paid subscription that is a bit costly.

One cheaper option I came across was Snap Inventory (also an app and a website). 

Sortly has a ton of free features and allows you to scan a box and it will search amazon or ebay for a matching photo and description. Pretty cool in my opinion!

 

Sortly

Screen Shot 2020-03-28 at 12.36.25 PMScreen Shot 2020-03-28 at 3.45.47 PMScreen Shot 2020-03-28 at 3.45.20 PM

Snap Inventory

Snap Inventory - Engine Detail

 

Please let me know if this is useful info, or if I should stop going down this rabbit hole!

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Original Post

I was originally going to post this in your other thread, but it seems more appropriate here.

I can't add anything to the technical part of the discussion, but I'd say for a lot of people here, the 100 items is way too limited.

Does Snap have a similar limitation?

If you are still considering developing your own App (and want it to be useful to a large audience), make sure you allow significantly more than 100 items.   With it including every possible thing (engines, rolling stock, accessories, etc), I'd suggest minimum 500, probably better over 1000, or best not limited.

-Dave

Dave45681 posted:

I was originally going to post this in your other thread, but it seems more appropriate here.

I can't add anything to the technical part of the discussion, but I'd say for a lot of people here, the 100 items is way too limited.

Does Snap have a similar limitation?

If you are still considering developing your own App (and want it to be useful to a large audience), make sure you allow significantly more than 100 items.   With it including every possible thing (engines, rolling stock, accessories, etc), I'd suggest minimum 500, probably better over 1000, or best not limited.

-Dave

I'd easily go over that limit as well inventorying everything. I will continue to develop something, although prob take me forever.

Snap has a 250 limit, so a bit more room, but still limited.

I ran across an app called “Home Content” that I think would work for this. It’s a general home inventory app that could easily be used for model train inventory instead. It can be easily modified to add, edit or delete locations, categories, etc. search for it on the App Store. The full app is $4.99 to unlock everything. You will need the full app.

Here are two screen shots, one for LOCATIONS and one for CATEGORIES.

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03B4CE57-DF70-497C-A263-94F05B2887C8

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Last edited by Rich Melvin

That’s fine, penn station, but a spreadsheet simply is not the right tool for the job here. The OP is talking about building a relational database to save his model train inventory. A true database makes it very easy to print reports, sorted any way you want.

Rich Melvin posted:

I ran across an app called “Home Content” that I think would work for this. It’s a general home inventory app that could easily be used for model train inventory instead. It can be easily modified to add, edit or delete locations, categories, etc. search for it on the App Store. The full app is $4.99 to unlock everything. You will need the full app.

Here are two screen shots, one for LOCATIONS and one for CATEGORIES.

This is awesome! Is it easy/user friendly to add items? 

I will download it shortly.

Greg and Rich, Thank you for posting links to these apps.  

Cam, I have my collection on an Excel spreadsheet too.  I have separate pages for each manufacturer, but they only total 160 items. 

With 160 items, I do a bit of looking at times, and agree a database would be much more useful.  I guess the time to do it is before I get a lot more, which I don't really plan to do having just retired recently.  However one never knows when I could inherit a long lost uncle's large collection.  Not.  

To answer your question Greg, I don't think it is a rabbit hole at all.  I think a lot of us are interested in database options!

I understand your point Rich.  I tried several train inventory programs (the first was on Windows 95) but they were too restrictive for my needs.  I worked extensively with spreadsheets as well as Oracle databases in my former job.  My train spreadsheet started as a temporary approach and evolved over 20 years.  My oldest archived file is dated July 4, 2000.

My Excel workbook has an inventory tab and a purchases tab related by a purchase number field.  I have report tabs based on pivot tables.  I use auto-filter so I can sort or filter on any column and I can edit multiple records easily if I want to refine or correct the records.   On other tabs I have specialized lists like all Post War Celebration, 6464, etc.

This approach is not for everyone but all this is second nature to me.  One downside of this, for example, is no data validation on fields - but since I am the only one using it I can remember my own "rules" on what goes in a particular column.  I do occasionally go through and make things consistent like PRR vs. Pennsy.

One thing I would like to have is images and have considered moving to a true database but that in itself is a big job.

Partial sample sorted on Number and filtered on 6464 in Comments.

 RR snap 3

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Last edited by penn station

Thanks Mark.  My recent addition is a column that indicates if the road name/reporting mark is a railroad, private owner, or Lionel (includes literal Lionel and fantasy roads).

The data includes items I have, used to have, wish I had, and reference items.  Sets get listed as well as the items in the set.  All this adds to the data volume.

If I found the right database application it would have to be very flexible and I would definitely need  a good data import function!

penn station posted:

...My Excel workbook has an inventory tab and a purchases tab related by a purchase number field.  I have report tabs based on pivot tables.  I use auto-filter so I can sort or filter on any column...One thing I would like to have is images and have considered moving to a true database but that in itself is a big job.

If you know how to use pivot tables and auto-filters in Excel, you’re a very advanced Excel user. Most users don’t even know what a pivot table is, let alone how to use one. No wonder it has worked okay for you so far!

With a background in Oracle, you’ll figure it out. Any decent database program can import a csv file, and Excel can export csv data. You should be able to do an export/import routine and get your data into whatever database program you choose...or if you write your own.

greg_08 posted:

This is awesome! Is it easy/user friendly to add items? 

I will download it shortly.

I changed it to show model train items instead of household items in about five minutes.

It also allows images to be stored in the database. I used this image in my first test entry. Note that this is a 5 MEGABYTE hard drive. That image of the drive being loaded into the plane is about half that!

DB3DBA89-0254-4C13-B864-0F39C97C0A11

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Last edited by Rich Melvin
Rich Melvin posted:
greg_08 posted:

This is awesome! Is it easy/user friendly to add items? 

I will download it shortly.

I changed it to show model train items instead of household items in about five minutes.

It also allows images to be stored in the database. I used this image in my first test entry. Note that this is a 5 MEGABYTE hard drive. That image of the drive being loaded into the plane is about half that!

Hah! How fitting!

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